Nadal back to winning ways in Abu Dhabi
TENNIS: Rafael Nadal has warmed up for his debut at the Brisbane International by winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Abu Dhabi.
It was the Spaniard's fourth win at the exhibition tournament. He defeated Belgian world No.11 David Goffin 6-4 7-6 in the final.
Nadal, 30, missed a large chunk of last year and had not played since October because of a wrist injury.
"I'm very happy to be competing again,” Nadal said before flying to Australia.
"These three days have been very good for me.
"These three days, playing at this level, bode very well for the rest of the season.”
Nadal, who has slipped to No.9 in the world rankings because of his injury problems, has a tough first match on Monday against Alexandr Dolgopolov.
The Ukrainian was the 2012 runner-up but the fifth-seeded Nadal will carry a 5-2 head-to-head record into their first-round match.
Dolgopolov has won their two most recent clashes.
If he wins his first game, Nadal faces a quarter-final battle with top seed and defending champion Milos Raonic, while Dominic Thiem or seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov could be his opponent in the last four.
Raonic has a first-round bye and will face either Sam Querrey or Diego Schwartzman in the second round, while Thiem also starts in the second round against either Australian wildcard Sam Groth or Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Bernard Tomic, a two-time semi-finalist in Brisbane, also has a tough first-round clash against eighth-seed David Ferrer.
The Spaniard is also making his Brisbane International debut and has a 3-2 win-loss record over the Australian.